A Brief History of Animation

Everybody hates History right? Well I do love Horrible Histories But everything  has to start somewhere, even animation. This is only a small overview, there are tons more I can talk about but this is a website and people don’t like to read for long so I’ll keep it short but informative ^^;

The Early Days

Animation may have not been drawn on paper, but the earliest animation can be seen in Paleolithic cave paintings with animals with multiple sets of legs giving the impression  at least 5000 years ago, a vase found in Iran had five images painted of a goat leaping to grab a leaf from a tree.




Moving to Paper


Many centuries later, inventions like the Magic Lantern, Thaumatrope, Phenakistoscope, Zoetrope, Praxinoscope and the Flipbook all helped bring the illusion of motion to life, but the only thing missing was sound. It was until 1928 that Walt Disney’s Steamboat Willie was the first short film to contain synchronized sound.


Colour was finally added to animation 5 years later in Flowers and Trees released by Walt Disney in 1932. The first ever full feature film was Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs released in 1937, and made $416 million dolllars in box office sales, from then on, Walt Disney Studios has become the biggest animation company in the world.

Stop Motion

Stop motion also had been around before in movies combining live action, however Aardman is the only well known animation company that produces feature length stop motion movies to this day.The first film to be completely stop motion/clay animated was The Adventures of Mark Twain released in 1985 directed by Will Vinton, although it made a theatrical release, it only made into 6 major cities.


Although Stop Motion is less popular with movies, a man and his dog still keep it alive. They are called Wallace and Gromit.



Created by Nick Park, he was able to get a job in Aardman to finish his first short film ‘A Grand Day Out’. Since then the famous duo won Oscars with 4 30 minute films, 11 shorts, a feature length movie and a special concert at the BBC Proms, and their films translated into over 20 languages.

Getting all technical

Pixar were the first to create animation completely on a computer with countless short films, before joining Disney to create the first ever computer animated feature length film grossing over $300 thousand, before making a $1 billion with Toy Story 3, the first ever animated movie to reach that much in box office sales. Pixar is now the most successful Computer animated animation company in the world.



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